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Donations to Lamar Jackson's favorite charity reach more than $400,000

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Concussion protocol

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) clutches his head after he was sacked during the third quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Jackson left the game to enter concussion protocol after the play. 

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Bills Mafia is at it again. 

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced out of Saturday's game against the Buffalo Bills because of a concussion suffered on the final play of the third quarter. Jackson was unable to return to what finished as a 17-3 Buffalo victory. 

Shortly after the game, Bills fans started making donations to Blessings in a Backpack, a favorite charity of the Ravens' quarterback. The organization was flooded with more donations than it could tally overnight. As of Monday night, $407,000 has been raised from 14,000 donors in less than 48 hours, the organization posted on Twitter.

The organization, which has a chapter in Louisville, works to feed elementary school children on weekends when they are not in school to receive federal assistance for meals. Jackson was a star at the University of Louisville and donated $25,000 in 2018 to help start a new program at a school there.

A user on Reddit suggested that Bills fans make donations after Jackson was hurt. The initial increment was $8 to match Jackson's number, but others upped the figure to $25, for Jackson's No. 8 and Josh Allen's No. 17. 

"Myself and a few friends decided that wasn’t the way we wanted this playoff game to go, so we decided to find out what Lamar’s favorite charity was and show him some love," said William Burke, the Bills fan who began the effort. "No one deserves to be injured especially in a playoff game. It's all love to him. I know Lamar didn’t want to go out like that."

As has been the case in previous similar efforts, most notably following the death of Josh Allen's grandmother, Bills fans took up the challenge and the donations began to fly in.

"This has been amazing," Nikki Grizzle, the organization's chief marketing officer, wrote in an email, "and it keeps coming in."

Despite being injured, Jackson signed autographs and took pictures with some fans before the Ravens boarded their charter flight back to Baltimore.


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News Sports Reporter

I started at The Buffalo News in 2009, and have previously been honored as one of the top 10 beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors for my coverage of the Bills. I live in Amherst with my wife, Melissa, and son, Elliott.

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